Sunday 29 March 2020

Flottage and all that Jazz.

My biblionautic chums and friends. I hope we are all well.

Yesterday, a glorious day of Flottage. Though I teach Flottage it is a very rare chance that I have time and the space to work on papers for myself. I produced, much to my amazement, 49 sheets of decorated paper. Many double and triple dipped, colour fields,swirls and blotches, enough for a year.
I really enjoy Flottage, perhaps a more modern, spontaneous, free form and full of action way of creating interesting contemporary, decorative papers.

Thankfully they are not everyone's taste ( I prefer to be an individual, making individual work for individual people) and unlike other, shall we say traditional ways of decorating paper, there are rarely, if ever, 'bad' papers. Each paper is unique, even if I wanted to reproduce or get near to a previous pattern it would be impossible. To be honest I would not want to reproduce...

I work with A1 paper, the size allows me not to just look at the paper but see the paper and the design, either as a whole or more specific areas that work on the book or box. Thus ensuring that there is always some parts (even on the not so hot papers) that is of use and attractive.

So, is marbling the same as Flottage?. 

I suppose it is down to interpretation. I would sort of consider traditional marbling, with all the moss, water temp etc Flottage and of course Flottage to be a form of marbling. However, having had some very one sided (Closed) ummm conversations...with more traditionally minded marblers that believe the work I do is the spit of satan and is therefor not marbling. I try to have an open mind about things. 
They mention the skill required to reproduce, the exactitude of the placing of the colours etc. I suppose it is like comparing Pollock (Not that I compare my work with Pollock) with a replica or copyist artist re-creating what is before. Yes, there is skill but it is a different set of skills or approach to the subject... different techniques of application and manipulation. 
There is so much snobbish-ness about it. I know there are marblers working with traditional methods and materials that do produce new work but in the main... rows and rows of of Dutch Spot or what ever does not light my candle. I suppose if one is doing historical binding then it is, of course applicable.. but for modern work, my work.. it just not right. There are many variations, Suminagashi a method of marbling in Japan (though I think the Chinese got there first) and, of course Ebru from Turkey. Each to their own. In short I produce the papers I want.. for my work. In a perverse way I am happy that there are reams of traditional marbled papers, they provide a balance or counter to what I do.... 

A selection now follows....

 Stay Safe Chums.


Friday 27 March 2020

The last month or so.....

My biblionautic chums and friends....
With all that is happening in our world I have let slip my posts. Sorry. To make some form amends I thought I would post what I have been up to on the bench in Studio 5.

Workshops, talks and presentations have been cancelled or postponed so I have time to do all those things I have wanted to do but never had time.

First... Never Mind The eBooks Here's the Real Thing.... A note book.

 Never Mind the Ebooks... Well, after the Guy who runs the Record shop saw my post on facebook he asked to see the book. A little chat then followed.. The long and the short of it is that 'Never Mind' are now available to purchase from the record shop.

 Available at..Olympic Studios Records

 As it happened, a few days after Never Mind's debut .. it sold. So a few more bound. Different colour options and stuff keep them fresh and different.

 Along the usual bench work I am also asked to give workshops, now, of course postponed. However I thought I would give a preview sort of thing.
 Though the new series is intended to introduce fellow makers and creators in differing fields other than those already familiar with the book as a vehicle for expression and communication, it may be of interest to those who are taking their first steps on the grand tour of book binding, book arts and related subjects.
I have had, for a number of years, a small collection of glass negatives dating from the Edwardian era (UK London) For nearly as long as owning them I have wanted, in some way or another, to be able to expose the negatives to enable me to visit those captured seconds of light. Recently I managed to contrive, in a very Heath Robinson sort of way, apparatus that when combined with the old desk top has enabled those seconds of captured light be explored again.
One of the new series of workshops will explore a contemporary photograph album structure that allows for further development and, perhaps as important, requires little in the way of specialist bookbinding equipment.
So, my chums, a sneak preview of some of the images that may be included in the workshop.
1, 4 Young Men, 3 boaters, 2 Flat Caps, 1 boy and a dog. 2, Lady. 3, Girl and boy. 4, London Zoo-The lion Cage. 5, Finsbury Square. 6, well it was bound to happen!

The workshop Photo Album...For the Society of Bookbinders East Anglian Region. I really like the format, the images have a new life.

A Drum Leaf Structure. So versatile.

Wednesday 25 March 2020


My biblionautic chums and friends.
Due to the ongoing and rapidly changing situation, I would like to reassure you that Studio 5 is committed to the well-being of students and customers, so I have taken some actions to limit the impact of covid-19. Studio 5 will be closed until notice is given.
Work will continue on existing orders and commissions. However new orders for 'Never Mind' (for example) will be processed as soon as is possible. I will, however, not be able to give precise delivery dates.
I recognise that many of my students will continue to require help and advice throughout this period, so I will try to continue answering questions etc as normal.
I am striving to maintain the usual level of service, however due to the actions I have taken to abide by Government advice, I can no longer guarantee prompt answers or up-dates.
I appreciate your understanding with this.
Thank you for your continued support.
Stay Safe
Please note there are other ways of doing things and opinions..... spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind... of sorts.